Ear Aches

There’s an adjustment for that!

“Ear problems can be excruciatingly painful, especially in children. With 10 million new cases every year, ear infections (otitis media) are the most common illness affecting babies and young children and the number one reason for visits to the pediatrician—accounting for more than 35 percent of all pediatric visits.

Almost half of all children will have at least one middle ear infection before they’re a year old, and two-thirds of them will have had at least one such infection by age 3. The symptoms can include ear pain, fever, and irritability. Otitis media can be either bacterial or viral in origin, and frequently results from another illness such as a cold. For many children, it can become a chronic problem, requiring treatment year after year, and putting the child at risk of permanent hearing damage and associated speech and developmental problems.”

-ACA

earChiropractic adjustments have been shown to help with reducing both fluid build-up with in the ear and the rate of ear infections. There are several types of adjustments that can be performed to reduce these common problems. First, a chiropractor will assess the upper spine for a ‘misalignment’ usually in the uppermost vertebrae or the occiput (base of the skull). If a misalignment is found at any of these 2 segments, an adjustment would help to reduce any inflammation and restore proper nerve function to that area. It may also boost the immune system.

Another type of adjustment is that of ‘popping’ the ear. A specific adjustment can be done on the ear to open up the Eustachian tube and allow for the proper draining of fluid. This is important because the Eustachian tube can close and create a vacuum effect which holds fluid inside the ear. This fluid can press against the ear drum and cause pain. It also becomes an area where bacteria can grow and cause an infection (otitis media). By releasing the Eustachian tube, this fluid is allowed to drain and prevents the dreaded symptoms associated with an ear infection.

This adjustment must be done by a professional. It can also be uncomfortable at first, and startle a young child by the ‘popping’ sound heard as the vacuum effect is released. A common sensation that is experienced with this adjustment is the feeling of fluid draining in the back of your throat. This is normal, and how the ear should drain in normal situations (Eustachian tube in the open position).

If you or your child is experiencing an ear ache or any discomfort, go see your chiropractor.

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